Arts

Arts give us a way to explore our lives and the lives of others, whether it's on canvas, on-stage or on a page.

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Sword swallowing is an extremely dangerous trick that doesn't involve illusions. How can it be real? We'll show you — with explanations and diagrams of the interactions between swords and the upper GI tract. Just don't try this at home!

By Tracy V. Wilson

In circuses, sideshows and other venues, lying on a bed of nails is an expression of a performer's stamina, bravery and imperviousness to pain. In reality, it's a matter of pressure transference and has been practiced for years around the world.

By Tracy V. Wilson

A magician or street performer walking barefooted across broken glass is a dramatic spectacle. Find out how people can walk across glass without hurting themselves.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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"Fantastic Four" hit the big screen in 2005, a decade after Roger Corman produced the first Fantastic Four movie. Learn how the unreleased 1994 movie and the new Fantastic Four movie franchise compare to the source material.

By Jonathan Strickland

Today artists use stone lithography to produce fine art prints but 150 years ago it was THE color-printing technology. It's an incredible art form. Take a photo-filled look at this fascinating process.

By Marshall Brain

It began with an e-mail from a reader who asked "Who would win in a fight -- a Jedi Knight or Superman?" That was all it took for us to wonder how Superman would fare against other stars from movies, books and comic books.

By Tracy V. Wilson & Robert Valdes

Most of us know that kryptonite is lethal for Superman, but do you know the precise scientific explanation for its effect? Find out just what it does to Superman and then consider what your own 'kryptonite' might be.

By Tracy V. Wilson

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Improv Everywhere is many things: A stage for the stageless; a script for struggling actors who have yet to take Broadway by storm; an attempt to get New Yorkers to remove their earbuds -- which is not as easy as it might seem.

By Julia Layton

Surely this is some sort of stereotypical uber-nerd who decided to take his obsession on the road. Not quite -- the creator of "One Man Star Wars" is well-versed in both acting and directing. But can a Star Wars fan go too far?

By Tracy V. Wilson

Fire breathing is one of the most dangerous performance arts out there. To get an inside look at how fire breathing works, HowStuffWorks interviewed two fire breathers, including Mike Garner -- a juggler and vaudevillian performer who started breathing fire in 1993.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The Batmobile in "Batman Begins" is real -- a physical object not a CG graphic. And yet the Batmobile is also an illusion. How can that be? Learn about the Batmobile and how it comes to life in "Batman Begins."

By Marshall Brain

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The Batsuit does a lot more for Batman than make him look scary. On its own the suit is an impressive piece of technology. The Batsuit combines armor, communications and combat technologies into one state-of-the-art system. Learn how the Batsuit works!

By Robert Valdes

Wonder Woman's creator was a radical psychologist/inventor/attorney who had two wives with two children each, all living together as one family. With an unconventional upbringing, it's no wonder one of America's favorite superheros has a unique career.

By Dave Coustan

When over a dozen people know your "secret identity," is it really fair to call it secret? Comic book pundit Matt Hunt reveals just how many characters are in on the superheroes' darkest secrets.

By Matt Hunt

A movie trailer shows Robin coming out of retirement to avenge Batman's death -- clashing with Superman, Wonder Woman, the Joker and the Penguin along the way. What's the story on this ultimate superhero movie?

By Dave Coustan

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Ever seen anyone putting on a show of walking barefoot across a bed of hot coals. Are they for real, or is it a trick? They are, in fact, walking barefoot on red-hot, glowing coals. Find out how it's done.

By Marshall Brain

The movie "Hellboy" scored big at the box office as millions of people were turned on to a new kind of hero. Find out how makeup artist Jake Garber brought the big red guy to life.

By Robert Valdes & Elizabeth Nixon

In only 20 years, Cirque du Soleil has carved out a unique niche in the entertainment industry. It has spread to cities all over the globe and earned rave reviews every step of the way. Go behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil and learn the secrets of its success.

By Elizabeth Nixon

Greg and Tim Hildebrandt's famous illustrations shaped how countless other artists envisioned Tolkien's world. Learn all about the remarkable process that leads to these amazing paintings.

By Marshall Brain

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You've seen people pull huge buses or trains with their teeth and other parts of their bodies. How do they do that?

You've probably seen them at Halloween parties, dance clubs and stage productions. How does a machine generate thick amounts of fog, and is it safe to breathe?

By Marshall Brain

"Everyone's a critic," right? Why is that? Art is a fundamental part of the human experience, so it seems natural that many people express strong opinions about it. But are any of them actually right, or is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?

By Julie Dawson